Page 15 - April 2023 - Truth & Tidings
P. 15

Service Was Complete                power of death, that is, the devil (Heb 2:14).
          The word on Jesus’ lips here was also   And since our debt of sin has been nailed
        used in relation to a servant completing   to Christ’s cross (Col 2:14), Satan’s power
        a task. “As an English translation, It is   to accuse us of sin has been stripped away.
        finished captures only part of the mean-  Matthew (27:50) and Mark (15:37) stress
        ing, the part that focuses on completion   that Jesus cried out with a loud voice before
        …. The verb teleo from which this form   His death. It seems clear that Jesus shouted
        derives denotes the carrying out of a   out, “It is finished!” It was a victorious cry.
        task.”  Christ was the Perfect Servant   Satan was defeated. And although he has
        sent by the Father to carry out the work   not yet been banished eternally to the Lake
        of redemption. Isaiah prophesied that   of Fire, the cross guarantees his ultimate
        this Servant would delight the heart of   doom.
        God (42:1) and would not fail in His mis-   The prince of darkness grim,
        sion (v4). We hear the passion expressed      We tremble not for him;
        in this Servant’s words, “My food is to       His rage we can endure,
        do the will of the one who sent me and        For lo! His doom is sure;
        to complete his work” (Joh 4:34 NET).       One little word shall fell him. 5
        Indeed, in His prayer to the Father Jesus   Sacrifice Was Perfect
        spoke of this work being completed (see
        17:4). In describing Christ Jesus as this   The word used in Jesus’ penultimate cry
        Servant, Paul wrote that He “humbled   could also be found in a priestly context,
        himself, and became obedient unto   when examining a sacrifice for offering.  Its
        death, even the death of the cross” (Php   approval could be expressed with the word
        2:7-8). And now the work of God’s Per-  tetelestai. We argued in the previous article
        fect Servant was brought to completion   that John is intentionally making Passover
        on the cross. Here was a Man who could   connections throughout his account of
        die with no regrets, having fulfilled in   Jesus’ death. He wants to prove that Christ
        every detail the mission assigned to and   is indeed “the Lamb of God, which taketh
        accepted by Him.                    away the sin of the world” (1:29). To this end,
                                            John records Pilate’s thorough examination
        Satan Was Defeated                  of Jesus and has him concluding three times
          Earlier in his Gospel, John recorded   that he can find “no fault” in Jesus (18:38;
        Jesus as saying, “Now is the judgment   19:4,6), thus fulfilling the requirement of the
        of this world: now shall the prince of this   Passover lamb (Exo 12:5).
        world be cast out” (12:31). There Jesus   Sin Was Paid
        pronounced the sentence upon Satan,   Many Bible commentators will point out
        but here at the cross it was executed.   another meaning of tetelestai. It appears
        The Seed of the Woman triumphed over   frequently in nonliterary papyri (e.g., bills
        the Serpent (Gen 3:15). Satan’s main   of sale) with the meaning “paid in full.”
        weapons are guilt and fear, especially   Thus, it was a word used by merchants
        the fear of death. But through death
        Christ destroyed the one who held the   ⁵ Martin Luther (1483-1546), translated by
                                            Frederick H. Hedge (1852)
        ⁴ D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John   ⁶ Warren W. Wiersbe, Jesus’ Seven Last Words
        (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans,   (Lincoln, NE: Back to the Bible, 1981), 60-61.
        1991), 621.                         ⁷ Comfort and Hawley, 242.
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